Training Church Members for Ministry


Small and rural churches are facing a crisis: there simply aren't enough ministers. This is happening in every part of the country and affects churches of all sizes and locations, but it's hitting small and rural churches especially hard. Ministers are retiring without replacements. While there's been no nation-wide survey, anecdotal evidence from multiple parts of the country says that small church pulpits are being left empty for years if not indefinitely. It's getting harder and harder to hire an outsider to come minister at a local church.

The Christian Church Leadership Network is combatting this using multiple approaches, but one is simple: training people in a local congregation to step into larger leadership roles.

If your church currently has an empty pulpit, consider this question: what if the next person to stand in the front wasn't a paid professional brought in from the outside, but a member of your congregation that's been trained to preach? What if the lack of a "Senior Minister" didn't stop hospital visits, prayer, and the baptism of a new follower of Jesus?

What if we really believed in the ministry of all believers?

Bridge Ministry Training is an attempt to teach basic ministry skills to members of the congregation so that they can act as a "bridge" between senior ministers. This could be elders, deacons, ministry leaders, or just faithful or promising members of the church. This eight-week course will give students an introduction to the following skills:

  • Sermon Preparation and Delivery
  • Visitation and Basic Pastoral Care
  • Praying Out Loud for Others
  • Baptizing New Believers
  • Leading a Meeting

Ministers spend a lifetime honing these skills, so eight weeks won't create a master. What it will do, though, is serve as an introduction and a first taste for church members interested in stepping into a larger serving role. Each week will have a short pre-recorded teaching segment, a hands-on assignment, and a live Zoom call with a ministry coach to talk through the opportunities and challenges that a student is facing.

The cost is $200, but in the first quarter of 2024 the eight-week class can be taken at a 50% discount. To register or for more information, click here.